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CASE 0:15-cv-00419-PAM-LIB Document 5 Filed 03/02/15 Page 1 of 5

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA

Philip Sieff, as trustee for the next-of-kin


of Dawn Marie Pfister, Deceased,

Case No. 15-cv-00419-PAM-LIB

Plaintiff,
vs.
Brady Juell, acting in his individual
capacity as a Chaska Police Officer,
and the City of Chaska,
Defendants.

DEFENDANTS ANSWER TO THE COMPLAINT

COME NOW Defendants Brady Juell and the City of Chaska, for their
Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint, state and allege as follows:
1.

Unless hereafter admitted, qualified or otherwise answered, these

answering parties deny each and every thing, matter and particular alleged in
Plaintiffs Complaint.
2.

These answering parties specifically deny Plaintiff has stated a

cognizable claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983 or 1988 and, further, deny
Dawn Marie Pfister sustained any deprivation of rights under the Fourth

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Amendment or any other state or federal statutory or constitutional injuries as


alleged in Plaintiffs Complaint.
3.

These answering parties affirmatively allege at all times material

hereto, Brady Juell was performing discretionary acts in the scope of his duties
with a good faith belief his conduct was lawful, constitutional, proper and
pursuant to probable cause.
4.

These answering parties admit Brady Juell was at all times material

hereto, acting in his official capacity as a Chaska Police Sergeant.


5.

These answering parties affirmatively allege Plaintiffs actions

asserted against Brady Juell are official capacity actions only.


6.

These answering parties affirmatively allege on February 7, 2014,

Dawn Marie Pfister and Matthew Serbus were carelessly traveling at a high rate
of speed eastbound on Highway 212 in a vehicle stolen from Denver, Colorado
three days earlier. Officers pursued the vehicle following citizen reports it was
driving recklessly and had been involved in a hit-and-run. The vehicle traveled
erratically on the highway and evaded officers despite the hood being up and
blocking the windshield. After Pfisters efforts to push the hood down failed and
the vehicle suffered blown tires from striking police stop-sticks, the vehicle
crashed into the sound wall on the side of the highway. Pfister and Serbus exited
the vehicle and both ignored all officer commands including show me your

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hands and lay down on the ground. When Serbus finally showed his hands,
officers observed he was holding a knife. Pfister and Serbus seemed to dance
together and then exchanged a kiss before Serbus appeared to stab Pfister with
the knife. Officers fired several rounds at Serbus and he eventually went to the
ground with Pfister on top of him. Pfister then grabbed the knife, sat up, and
began to move toward the officers in a threatening manner. When Pfister ignored
commands to drop the knife, officers fired several additional rounds at her.
Pfister went down, dropped the knife and Serbus picked up the knife which
prompted officers to fire additional rounds at him. Officers quickly secured
Pfister and Serbus and began to provide medical care, but both died at the scene.
7.

These answering parties affirmatively allege Plaintiffs claims are

barred by the legal doctrines of qualified, statutory and official immunity.


8.

These answering parties specifically deny Brady Juell violated and

deprived Pfister of her clearly established and well-settled civil rights to be free
from unreasonable searches and seizures and the use of excessive and
unreasonable deadly force in violation of the Fourth Amendment as alleged in
Count One of Plaintiffs Complaint.
9.

These answering parties specifically deny the City of Chaska was

deliberately indifferent to the rights of citizens and specifically deny it failed to


properly train its officers or failed to require adherence to appropriate policies to

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avoid the improper use of deadly force as alleged in Count Two of Plaintiffs
Complaint.
10.

These answering parties affirmatively allege Plaintiffs Complaint

fails to state a cause of action for claims upon which relief can be granted.
11.

These answering parties are without sufficient knowledge to form a

belief as to the truth of Plaintiffs alleged damages and, therefore, deny the same
and demand strict proof thereof.
12.

These answering parties deny punitive damages are actionable or

available for this incident.


13.

These answering parties admit generally federal questions should be

resolved in federal court; however, the incident involving Plaintiff did not rise to
the level of a constitutional deprivation and, therefore, these answering parties
deny jurisdiction of this Court.
14.

These answering parties affirmatively allege the reasonableness of a

particular use of force must be judged from the officers perspective and not
based on 20/20 hindsight.
15.

These answering parties join in Plaintiffs request for a jury trial.

WHEREFORE, Defendants Brady Juell and the City of Chaska pray


Plaintiff takes nothing by this claim for relief herein; that these answering parties
be given judgment against Plaintiff, dismissing Plaintiffs cause of action with

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prejudice; that these answering parties be given judgment for costs,


disbursements and attorneys fees herein pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988 and for
such other relief as the Court may deem just and equitable.
IVERSON REUVERS CONDON

Dated: March 2, 2015

By
s/Jason M. Hiveley
Jon K. Iverson, #146389
Jason M. Hiveley, #311546
Attorneys for Defendants Brady Juell
and the City of Chaska
9321 Ensign Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55438
jon@irc-law.com
jasonh@irc-law.com
(952) 548-7200